Sunday, April 17, 2016

Friends, Fest and France

Our good friends, Kim and Brian, came out to visit us last September for some German fun at Volksfest: Stuttgart's Oktoberfest.  We not only had a great time at fest, but we enjoyed plenty of beautiful sights in Germany, as well as in France!

Their trip started off a bit rocky...we got locked out of the house within 5 minutes of their arrival!  It was all uphill from there after some MacGyver maneuvers to get back in.  We spent the day strolling the streets and chowing down on some excellent German food in my favorite local town of Tübingen. The next day we headed to Volksfest for some beer and chicken to start off their Germany trip in just the right way!

Fest bound! (Kim's pic)




We slept in the next day before heading out to check out some abbey ruins in the Black Forest.  The ruins in the town of Hirsau date back to the 11th century.  After taking plenty of pictures in the ruins, we headed to the nearby quaint little town of Calw.  It's exactly what you think a German town should look like!





Calw

Of course you can't visit Germany and not see a castle, so we went to see the impressive Hohenzollern castle.  It looks so perfect from the distance perched up on top of it's hill.



We also did a nice hike to the waterfall at Bad Urach.  It's a pretty easy, flat, path, but we made it much more difficult by deciding to climb the waterfall.






On our way home from hiking, we stumbled upon a magical Italian place for dinner, just about 5 minutes from our house!  We ended up going back just a few nights later!  Their pasta is just divine!

Kim's pics

We drove a couple of hours to cross the Rhine river for an overnight trip to the Alsace region of France, one of our favorite places!  We started off in the northern part of the Alsace in the gorgeous city of Strasbourg.  We ate crepes for lunch, followed by gelato and a look at the beautiful cathedral.  From there, we headed south along the wine route through picturesque villages and vineyards.  We stopped and stayed the night in the picture perfect town of Ribeauville.  We did some wine tasting and found out that we are not big fans of stinky cheese, which is very popular in the region!





Beautiful gelato!





The next day we checked out two more beautiful Alsatian towns; Riquewihr and Kayserberg.  I don't think a town could be any cuter than Riquewihr!  I also love their free samples of delicious coconut macaroons!


These coconut macaroons make Riquewihr smell like heaven!




We took the scenic route through the Black Forest on the way home, stopping in Triberg for a hike up Germany's tallest waterfall.  It doesn't look that tall from the bottom, but the higher you climb you can see that it just keeps going and going.





I think this is the only pic of the four of us! (Kim's pic)

We entertained ourselves for a few days while Kyle had to work.  A cold rainy day was the perfect time to take Brian for a drool fest at the Porsche museum.  We also made a stop at the Motorworld in Böblingen, a car lover's paradise.  We even had time and a break in the rain for a hike up to the Birkenkopf, (aka Rubble Hill).  Rubble Hill is the highest point in Stuttgart with great views over the city.  It was created by piled up rubble from damage done during the war.  Most of the hill is wooded, but the rubble is visible at the top.


Brian and his dream machine (Kim's pic)


Motorworld

Rubble Hill (Kim's pic)

We lucked out with a beautiful sunny day to head to Dachau, a very somber destination.  Dachau was one of the first concentration camps opened in Germany, located just outside of Munich.


You can't be 20 minutes from Munch and not stop for a beer, so we did just that.  We also happened to be there the same day an old dance class friend was visiting!  Never would have guessed that we would be meeting up in Munich!

Dance buddies!

We had so much fun travelling and seeing the sights with Kim and Brian!  We're already looking forward to their next visit in fall 2017!!


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